There is more to love and desire than just picking apples.
How boring one may think, a whole Food on Friday about apples! Well, leaving aside that apples are one of the most interesting, nourishing, tasty, and healthy ingredients you could add to a dish ~ an apple is the most mystical and spiritual of fruits.
Myths about the apple being the ultimate symbol of love, sex, and sin go much, much further back than the Bible’s Adam and Eve. The ancient Minoans had almost the same apple myth, and their civilisation goes back around 9,000 years. Most appropriately we are now in the star sign of Libra, and if you know your Myths of Libra you will also know that this is the time of Aphrodite, and her fruit is the apple ~ well it would be, wouldn’t it?
So to begin this week, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower we have apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal. Now I’ve never liked oatmeal, mostly because I hate milk. But, this recipe appeals to me, and it uses almond milk ~ cool.
Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
San Diego girl Averie Sunshine has this recipe for caramel apple sheet pan pancakes. Ready in 10 minutes for breakfast or brunch, or a dessert….. Oh Wow! (Perhaps I’d make the pancake mix from scratch.)
Caramel Apple Sheet Pan Pancakes
Some combinations are just meant to be, and this is one of the very best. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have apple butter and sage pork chops ~ perfect.
Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops
Another main course, this time from Heather Christo, pasta with apples, bacon, sage, and chantrelle mushrooms ~ and this recipe is both gluten and dairy free. Never mind that so much, it both looks and sounds delicious. Apple and sage go so well together, and there is no truth in the rumour that apple is a female aphrodisiac….. sage is a different matter all together.
Pasta with Apples, Bacon, Sage, and Chantrelle Mushrooms
Lets move along to dessert, or something for afternoon tea and from Todd and Dianne, the White on Rice Couple there’s this spiced apple coffee cake. For me, this looks delicious. It’s a recipe I’d like to try, even though I can’t bake for love nor money…..
Spiced Apple Coffee Cake
And now a drink for those of us ho don’t want to get absolutely hammered on scrumpy, Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a cool post entitled; how to make an apple cider shandy. You know what? I don’t touch booze anymore , but if I did, I’d make a beeline for this at parties. Something else, you can cheat on this already alcoholic recipe and come up with something that’s almost as strong as scrumpy.
How To Make An Apple Cider Shandy
Finally for this week we have our recipe collection. From Country Living Magazine 60+ easy and delicious apple recipes to make this season ~ and amongst this cornucopia there’s this simple and easy garden tuna salad sandwich. You need not use white hot dog rolls if you want a healthier alternative such as a sprouted grain bread.
Garden Tuna Salad Sandwich
I have written a previous blog about apples.….
and one about the medicinal use of rosehips in apple cider vinegar
Not All Roses Are The Same.
Some say that one should never use garden hybrid roses for medicinal purposes. And, that there are more than 300 active compounds present in roses, of which only about 100 have been identified. All I know is that medicinal preparations from any rose can have strong and immediate effects on some people, especially women.
The good witch or experienced herbalist will try to find a true wild rose for medicinal use. There are many species of wild rose, but they are all easy to identify. Every wild rose has exactly five petals, and almost all of them are pink shading to white. They also tend to be leggy and straggling in form, extremely hardy, and likely to thrive on total neglect. There are also some ‘nearly wild’ roses which are just as good as the true wild rose for the herbalist, but are much more suitable for the average garden.
Here in England the good witch or experienced herbalist will preferentially use the true wild rose, the dog rose, rosa canina, for medicinal purposes. The thing is, unless you have a huge estate, you’re not going to plant this vigourous thing. Luckily it does grow wild all over in England, especially in mature hedgerows.
However, if one has a largish garden one can plant the Japanese wild rose, rosa rugosa instead. This is still a very strong growing shrub, but it’s more manageable than the dog rose, and you still get great hips.
Another great medicinal rose is the aptly named apothecary’s rose, rosa gallica. This is another wild rose, basically from France.
In North America there are dozens of species of wild rose, all of which have been used by Native American tribes in medicine and magic. In addition, many other species roses have naturalised into the American landscape, so sometimes it’s difficult to know which is a true American wild rose, and which is an introduction. It doesn’t really matter. If a rose has five petals and is pink or shading to white, then it’s a good medicinal plant.
However, if you are growing an apothecary’s garden, a herb garden, or a medicine garden, then perhaps the rose nearly wild in whatever variety you can find it would be your best choice. It’s compact, has a long flowering season, and is close enough to the species wild rose to be ideal as a medicinal plant. This rose is also readily available from specialist rose nurseries all over the world.
Almost every part of the rose has therapeutic uses. The petals can be used to make rose petal tea or an unusual scented jam, or rose water hydrosol, or what about a rose, cardamom, and ginger body soak? The rose hips can be added to organic cider vinegar to make a great salad dressing / tonic, and the leaves make a kind of substitute coffee. If you dry the leaves you can smoke them ~ and I have no idea what that’s like.
The main active effects of rose preparations are; laxative, opthalmic, diuretic, and linthontriptic, (removes kidney stones). There are many benefits of using the rose as a medicinal plant, and some potential downsides. Some people feel ill after ingesting rose medicines / tea, and some people feel mild hallucinogenic effects. As I have already said, there are at least 300 active compounds in the rose and we only know what about 100 of them are, let alone what they actually do ~ weird.
If in doubt of any herbal preparation, then try just a little, in a very diluted form ~ especially if you are a woman. And if you are either pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, then take specialist advice from your doctor or an expert herbalist before using any herbal / medicinal plant product.
Aphrodite’s Herbalist, jack collier
The Healing Powers Of The Rose.
Herbalists and witches know that the rose is a very useful and powerful medicinal plant, and that one of the interesting things you can use it for at this time of year is as a remedy for coughs and colds. A very easy way to take advantage of the natural healing power of the rose is to make rose petal tea. Well, the petals do contain vitamin C, which helps combat the common cold, but the petals also hold some powerful polyphenols and antioxidants. Ideally one should use the petals of the wild dog rose, rosa canina, but I also use the petals from garden hybrid roses.
Try making rose petal tea with just a handful of fresh rose petals, and a very little sugar or honey, (don’t use a lot of sugar or honey as it will overpower the taste). Personally I just scald the petals, but some suggest simmering, (stewing), for 5 minutes. Some also suggest removing the white portion of fresh petals, although personally I wouldn’t do that. The white area does impart the tea with a slightly bitter, tannin taste, but I firmly believe that’s also where most of the good stuff is concentrated.
Scientifically, the principal qualities of rose petal tea are that it has; Laxative, Opthalmic, Diuretic, and Linthontriptic virtues. I firmly believe it’s a lot more complicated than that. For example, you should find that rose petal tea will slightly numb your mouth and ease any sore throat and cough you may be suffering from.
- anxiety, depression, and stress.
- constipation and other digestive problems.
- coughs, colds, and sore throats.
- menstrual cramps and pain.
- skin and hair problems ~ the tea is said to relieve the symptoms severe acne.
- urinary tract infections.
If that wasn’t enough, drinking rose petal tea is supposed to help ward off cancers due to its beneficial effects on the immune system. Some say that drinking rose petal tea also promotes weight loss ~ I couldn’t promise that, other than you may use much less sugar and cream than if you were drinking coffee instead of this herbal tea.
You can make rose petal tea either with fresh petals, (make certain they are pesticide free), and you can also make a green tea with dried rose petals. You can buy dried rose petals mail order from all kinds of places, including Amazon. As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s better to collect fresh rose petals, and keep a few handfuls in the refrigerator.
There are a couple of things to be careful of. Firstly, drinking more than three or four cups of this stuff a day is likely to give you diarrhea. Secondly, most really effective herbal remedies for menstrual pain are also female aphrodisiacs as they affect the production of oestrogen~ don’t say you weren’t warned.
Aphrodite’s Herbalist, jack collier